Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Dar Es Salaam

We're now into our third day here in DES. We attempted to use the internet yesterday, but it was down at the local cafe. We tried a different one today and luckily it was up and running. Our hostel has had the power and water shut off because the owners couldn't pay the bill. It's going to get stinky very fast.

yesterday (sorry for the poor punctuation and grammar, this keyboard is not so great) we had Swahili class in the morning and then headed over to the local village museum. the museum reminded me of colonial williamsburg in that it held replicas of the various tribal homes across tanzania. most tanzanians live in modern homes, although those who live in the very rural areas live in the traditional tribal homes. We learned a neat fact, most tribal homes had two separate home for the kids and the parents so that the parents had a place to "make babies." At the end of our tour, we watched some tribal dancing and were then brought out into the yard to dance with the tribal dancers. It was really fun.

today we walked the city of DES for 8 hours with our local guide. We visited the national museum, the fish market, an agriucultural market, and the carver's market. the best way I can describe DES is for you to think of being at your state fair. the city is covered in a permenant layer of filth and grime which is punctured in areas with the vibrant hues of the fresh produce and silks. there is a ever-present smell of BO in DES. Despite all of it's third world conditions, I've found it to be a very vibrant and friendly city. there are obviously people trying to haggle us to buy their products, but with a simple, "hapana asante" (no thank you) they tend to walk off.

the food hasn't been great. we're served mostly eggs, rice, and a local stew. megan and I plan on eating at the recommended "western restaurants" in Arusha on the weekends in order to keep our weight up. We've made a vow to each other that if it appears as if either of us has lost 10 pounds, then we're both coming home.

We have a weekend of open ended activities. A group of people are going to zanzibar, but we're not going because we're going with megan's parents in August. We're most likely going to hang out at the hostel and in DES with our local guide and the other 5 people who are not going to DES. We'll be taking a 10 1/2 hour bus ride to arusha on sunday to get to the orphanage. we'll be riding with two other volunteers, a girl from S.F. and a guy from Denmark.

Shout outs--
*Evan- I miss you terribly. Have a wonderful anniversary! It's been a great 3 years. Here's to many more.

Neat sighting--
* a young boy in town wearing a columbus dispatch t-shirt.

PS- We're having trouble finding an internet cafe that allows us to add pictures. we'll update when we find one.


The Hennick's said...

Happy Aniversity Michelle! Can you believe its been 3 years. We miss you sooooo much. I'm so proud of you! Please eat, just be careful of what your eatting. I'm sure all those things I use to fix that you hated sound really good about right now! I hope we can get the phone situation worked out, I love hearing your voice. It's about 90 here and we think of you often, everyone sends there best wishes.
Love, Mom, Dad, Jessica and Jenna

Katherine said...

Glad to hear you made it safely and that you had a blast with Nasser. I look forward to reading about your trip as things progress. I give you a huge amount of credit for doing it! Be safe!


Kate Costin